Rikas, an alternative pop band from Germany, just released a six track EP: Short Stories, this past October 1st. The EP features two unreleased songs, and a variety of different moods. The songs were written in different places, over the course of the summer. “It was not a concept record from the beginning” Sam, the band’s bass player said. “It was just like a diary that reminds us of that time.”
The band’s four members have been friends for a long time, some of them since kindergarten. Their band is very self-made, from the music videos, visuals, songwriting and production. Each band member; Sam, Sascha, Ferdinand and Chris do their own part in making the band happen, while working together as well.
“We all grew up in Stuttgart, where we are still actually based, and our parents had a big influence because they had a really good taste in music, like Bob Dylan and all those nice songwriters from the sixties and seventies. Ferdi’s [Ferdinnad, the drum player’s] dad is a jazz musician, we had an opportunity to rehearse there. Our family is really supportive, I think that’s important. They love what we do, I think they are the biggest fans we have of our band. My dad watches every live stream, everything we do. That was a big part of it, I guess. That is why we probably started playing in a band when we were young. I think Stuttgart was a nice city to grow up in, because they had a lot of music contests and stuff to start out with a band. We always had a thing we could do. Even when we finished school, we studied for some time, and had some jobs. It was pretty fast when we were like, hey let’s stay in a band because a lot of bands break up after they finish school. I think that was the most important thing, that we stayed together. Always when people finish school they let go of all their friends, and they remain with two or three. I guess we’re like the two or three friends that remained over the years.” Sam, the band’s bass player said.
In 2019, the band celebrated a successful debut album tour throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They wanted to go on tour again, but their plans were cut short, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We wanted to go on tour again in March 2020, and just right before the tour should have started, the pandemic happened and came to Germany. We had to cancel or propose tours. That hit everybody, it was totally a disaster, and we didn’t know what to do in the first place. We hadn’t met in that time for like two months, just because of the restrictions. Lockdown was pretty strict in Germany,” Sasha, the band’s guitar player, and keyboardist said. “We decided that we wanted to write new songs, and just work work work to stay sane, and to have something to do. And that’s when we decided to write songs.”
The complexity of the times, and the band’s moving around, made every song turn out differently.
“When we finished the songs, we decided to make a concept about diversity, so we decided to make each song its own story and that’s why we call it short stories. To make a book reference” Sascha said. “It’s like opening a book and reading a short story, not the whole book.”
The four band players have played together, and with other musicians, since their childhood. One of their past bands had a mascot: Ferdinand’s dog, Rika.
“When we actually needed a name, we thought we’d called the band Rikas, keep it short and simple because before we always had really long band names. We’d say our band name, and it’d be like, what is it called? And now we have a really short name” Sam said. “We had one band: Too young to shave.” When we were really young and another band called 25 percent, and he [Sascha] had a band called Custodian Square.”
Rikas has a lot of big plans for the future, including touring worldwide and working on new music videos. You can catch them at festivals around Europe, or on their headline tour in 2022, where they’ll be heading to the US, Japan and Mexico.
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